Casement windows are hinged at the top, side or bottom and open outward and were the first type of windows built into early American homes. A well-functioning window gasket is critical for proper weather-stripping; however, gaskets often develop thin spots or holes and need to be repaired. Casement windows can be sealed easily using adhesive tape or felt but these solutions do not last long and you will need to replace it every two years. It is often better to repair a gasket, as they are often made of durable tubular vinyl, silicone, or sponge rubber, than to replace it using a less durable solution such as adhesive tape or felt.
Things You'll Need
- Fine-grit sandpaper
- Rubber gloves
- Silicone caulk
- Paint thinner
Find the source of the leak. Often, you will not be able to see weak areas of a gasket unless it has broken and protrudes from the window. Place your hands around the perimeter of the window, feeling for any air drafts or extra cold spots. Pay special attention to any cold spots where the sash comes into contact with the sill and where the glass panes meet the window frame.
Open the window and examine the gasket in the area that you have identified as an air leak. Run your hand over the gasket to determine any thin spots or small holes. Gaskets are usually nailed onto the window. Depending on the location of the spot to repair, you may need to pull up the nails using a pliers in order to apply the silicone caulk.
Prime the gasket by using fine grit sandpaper to remove grime and create a slightly rough surface for adhesion to the silicone.
Apply rubber gloves and squeeze a thin stream of silicone caulk onto the gasket; use you finger or a small knife to smooth out the silicone and clean up any excess silicone with a rag and paint thinner. Let the silicone dry according to manufacturer's instructions before closing the window.
Tips & Warnings
- Properly adjusted pane spacers help prevent damage to gaskets by preventing pressure buildup and condensation on the windowpanes. If you have storm windows and spot moisture buildup between the panes, you should drill one or two holes, called weep holes, through the bottom rail of the storm window; doing this allows moisture to escape so it won't cause wood rot.
- Old House Web: The Repair of Historic Wooden Windows
- House-Energy: Weatherstripping Casement Windows
- Cal Finder Nationwide Remodelers: Window Seal Problems
- The Complete Photo Guide to Home Repair; Black & Decker; 1999
- Photo Credit windows image by L. Shat from Fotolia.com
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